Labour MPs are slowly discovering that switching from Joseph Muscat to Robert Abela was not enough to wash away the party’s wrongdoing, Bernard Grech said on Saturday.  

 “Labour thought it could just switch captains and continue to act with impunity. They say so openly, in parliament: they jeer by saying ‘we won by 40,000 [votes],” Grech said.   

“But those who are part of the problem cannot help solve it. And those who made pacts are compromised by them,” the Nationalist Party leader said in an interview on party station NET.

Grech was speaking one day after Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne resigned. Fearne is among two dozen people to be charged with crimes in connection with the deal to privatise three station hospitals.

Others charged include Muscat, who is to be charged with bribery and corruption, as well as his deputies Konrad Mizzi and Keith Schembri and Central Bank governor Edward Scicluna.

Prosecutors at the Attorney General’s office filed charges against the defendants on the basis of a magisterial inquiry into the hospitals deal signed by the Muscat government. That deal was annulled by a civil court last year on the basis of fraud, as a result of a court case filed by Grech’s predecessor as PN leader, Adrian Delia.

'Abela did nothing to get money back'

“We won the hospitals back,” Grech said on Saturday. “Now we are working to get back the money they took.”

He was referring to a court case the PN has filed seeking repayment of money disbursed to Steward Health Care, which took over the concession from the original tender winners, Vitals Global Healthcare.

Abela’s government had done absolutely nothing to claw back that money, Grech said on Saturday.

“Abela could have filed a case to get our money back. We pushed him to do so, but he didn’t. So then we pushed the State Advocate to do it. He told us he would only do so if the prime minister asked him to.

“So then we filed the case ourselves, instead,” Grech said. “We didn’t need the prime minister to do so.”

Grech said Abela was now arguing in that court case that he has nothing to do with the deal, because he was not prime minister at the time in question.

“He’s ditched everyone around him,” the PN leader said.

Grech said he appreciated the president speaking out to warn against overt criticism of the judiciary, and spoke critically of the government’s continued dismissal of the ongoing crisis.


“They rob us, and continue to lie to the very end,” the PN leader said. “People voted for Labour because they wanted a better Malta. Now they are changing their minds.”

The June 8 MEP elections were “not just about the numbers”, Grech said.

“It’s about fixing this country. We’re building a coalition with everyone except Robert Abela: social partners, students, NGOs, everyday citizens.

“How can you back people attacking the judiciary and journalists?,” Grech asked voters. “What will they do if they win by a large margin?”

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